NBP22-11: Deployments in the Drake Passage

Details from the first three floats deployed in the Drake Passage

14 November 2022

Hi everyone! What a crazy busy last few days it’s been. The NBP is currently docked at Palmer Station after waiting to dock for almost two days due to high winds. We left port in Punta Arenas, Chile on Nov 8 and spent about three days transiting the straits of Magellan, the eastern coast of South America, and the first segment of Drake Passage to get to our first deployment position, about -58 S, -63 W. 

An icy walkway in front of a group of buildings, with an iceberg in the background

Palmer Station in Antarctica. Photo by Josie Adams.

Icebergs floating in a grey sea

Icebergs in the Drake Passage. Photo by Josie Adams.

Over the next day and a half, we deployed three floats and processed CTD samples at all 3 stations. The first three floats, named Red Devils, Michael Winton, and ShakerSimCenterH209 were all deployed successfully and have already brought in their first profiles. At each deployment station, the ship takes a CTD cast from 2000m to the surface, filling niskin bottles at specific intervals determined by scientists. From these bottles, we take and process samples for pH and alkalinity, nutrients, salinity, and HPLC/POC (which are then filtered and stored in a -80°C freezer until they can be shipped home). 

Yellow float lies in a crate with the word "Red Devils" written on it

Red Devils float:

Lat: 58 deg 46.00’ S
Long: 63 deg 45.12’ W
Date (UTC): 11-11-2022
Time (UTC): 01:31:00

Yellow float lies in a crate with the word "Michael Winton" written on it

Michael Winton float:

Lat: 60 deg 25.62’ S
Long: 63 deg 11.88’ W
Date (UTC): 11-11-2022
Time (UTC): 14:28:00

Yellow float lies in a crate with the word "Shaker Sim Center" written on it

ShakerSimCenterH209 float:

Lat: 62 deg 21.62’ S
Long: 63 deg 20.68’ W
Date (UTC): 11-12-2022
Time (UTC): 05:31:00

Two images side by side: on the left a woman stands on a ship holding a float with two other crew members

Josie Adams prepares to deploy a float.

A man stands next to a float on the deck of a ship.

Ben Freiberger prepares to deploy the float Michael Winton. Photo by Josie Adams.

When I finally woke up after sleeping for 12 hours following the third float deployment, we were already at the Antarctic peninsula! The past few days since have been absolutely breathtaking as we’ve transited along the peninsula. It truly feels like another planet. We’re hoping to embark again on Nov 17th and continue on our way to New Zealand!

View from a ship of icy seas, with sunlit snow mountains in the distance.

Approaching the Antarctic Peninsula. Photo by Josie Adams.